Last Friday morning, school president Shane Rockett ‘19 spoke for the first time in chapel. After a glowing introduction from Head of School Mr. Schneider, his advisor, Shane took the podium and shared a few candid and insightful thoughts. He began his speech by welcoming the new members of our community, telling them a little about Belmont Hill, and wishing them a great year ahead. A simple but powerful gesture, it embodied the best aspects of our school. He then urged the seniors to shape this year by the power of their example and to lead with thoughtful words and actions. In the remainder of his speech, Shane posed and answered three questions: “what is our school?”, “what makes a Belmont Hill student?”, and lastly, “how does one succeed at Belmont Hill?”. These are complex questions, but Shane answered them very well, guided by his five years of experience on the Hill. He described the school as being analogous to a family, and how like members of any family, students here should strive to represent the “family name” well.
We were reminded of the consequences of our deeds and the ways they reflect on our school. Then, Shane explained that in his view, the defining characteristic of a Belmont Hill student is “hustle.” Using anecdotal evidence, he talked about times in which he was inspired by the “hustle” of his classmates. Lastly, he offered excellent advice on how to succeed at Belmont Hill. Rather than talk about grinding out A’s, or participating in as many extracurriculars as possible, or focusing on getting into a good college, he implored students to find their passion. “The true gift Belmont Hill will give you,” he said, “is the opportunity to find your passion, and master your craft.” Overall, both the content and delivery of Shane’s speech were excellent. It is obvious why Form VI has chosen him for the honor of being our school president. We thank him for his thoughtful words and his leadership, and look forward to seeing and supporting his efforts in the year ahead.